FILLMORE -- An estimated 2012 tax levy of $46,940 doesn't leave a lot of room for a small town to buy new vehicles, and one Fillmore town councilor expressed his disgust at the shrinking budget Thursday night.
During his report at the monthly Fillmore Town Council meeting, utility manager Joe Cash presented three estimates for a new town utility truck ranging from $41,000 to $53,000.
The councilors did not approve any of the estimates, setting a special meeting for 8:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14.
When the it came time for approval of the 2012 budget, Alan Jones brought the issue of the truck up again, asking clerk-treasurer Wanda Seidler if the cost of a new truck could be added to the budget.
When Seidler explained the budget had already been advertised and could not be added to, Jones bristled.
"I'm not going to sign it because I wanted that machinery in there," Jones said.
Despite repeated explanations from Seidler and board president Wes Terhune that the cost of the truck might be added through an additional appropriation, Jones would not budge from his position.
Ultimately, Terhune and councilor Tami Parker signed the budget, so it was still approved by a majority of the council. The 2012 budget is estimated at $142,697, although the town's estimated funds to be raised through taxes is just $46,940.
Seidler used the dispute as an illustration of the need for more budget planning by the board members.
"I'm going to emphasize the importance of you guys being involved in the summer time at budget workshops," Seidler said.
No progress has been made on an impasse regarding utility collections from the September meeting. A proposed change would involve the landlord footing the bill if a tenant skips town with unpaid water and sewer bills.
Parker expressed her displeasure over the proposal last month, and has not changed her position. She said she would discuss the issue with town attorney Mary Russell. The issue was again tabled until next month.
The council also set this year's trick-or-treat times for 5-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31.